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LAFAYETTE AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION by Russell Freedman Kirkus Star

LAFAYETTE AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

By Russell Freedman

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2182-4
Publisher: Holiday House

Against the wishes of father, family and nation, 19-year-old Gilbert de Lafayette bought a ship, escaped France and became the youngest general in the Continental Army, a teenager leaving a young wife and a huge personal fortune to pursue military glory. Freedman knows how to distill a lively and focused story from a swamp of information on a much-studied subject, writing with an acute eye for fascinating detail and significant facts. The volume opens with a mysterious stranger, a fearsome beast, musketeers and a humiliating episode with Marie Antoinette, and later the spotlight remains expertly trained on Lafayette as he fights at the Battle of Brandywine Creek, winters at Valley Forge, meets with the Iroquois Confederacy and corners Cornwallis at Yorktown. Lafayette’s subsequent involvement in the French Revolution and his call for freeing American slaves demonstrate how he outgrew the “teenager in pursuit of military glory” to become a passionate spokesman for human rights. An interesting and useful commentary on selected sources rounds out another superb volume by a master of his craft. (Biography. 10 & up)